A Florida Senator announced he will introduce a bill in the 2021 legislative session to help Floridians expunge their low-level cannabis crime convictions, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Announcing the bill in front of a medical cannabis dispensary, Senator Randolph Bracey (D) believes the bill helps communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
“I think it’s extremely important, especially when you look at the people who have not been able to get a job, not been able to apply for school because of these minor convictions.” — Florida state Sen. Bracy, in an announcement
Under the provision, all court costs are covered but expungement is not automatic. Floridians must apply to have their convictions expunged and the law only applies to misdemeanor possession and distribution of under 20 grams.
“We have created and expanded a billion-dollar marijuana industry and yet we have not repaired people who for decades have been incarcerated for low-level marijuana crimes,” Sen. Bracey said. “It is time as this industry continues to expand, that we repair people and make people whole so they can start to build their lives so these convictions don’t haunt them for the rest of their lives.”
Florida is predicted to be one of the next states to legalize adult-use cannabis. Currently, there are two adult-use initiatives making their way toward the 2022 ballot in Florida.